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  • Potholes Reservoir Supplemental Feed Route

    Draft Environmental Assessment Columbia Basin Project Grant County, Washington

    U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation Pacific Northwest Region April 2007

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1.0 PURPOSE OF AND NEED FOR ACTION ................................................................ 1-1

    1.1 Background.................................................................................................................. 1-1 1.2 Purpose and Need for the Action ................................................................................. 1-2 1.3 Cooperating Agencies and Related Actions ................................................................ 1-2 1.4 Authority ...................................................................................................................... 1-3 1.5 Public Scoping ............................................................................................................. 1-3 1.6 Environmental Concerns and Issues ............................................................................ 1-3 1.7 Permits and Related Laws............................................................................................ 1-4

    2.0 ALTERNATIVES.......................................................................................................... 2-1 2.1 Alternative 1 Continue Current Feed Route via East Low Canal (No Action) ........ 2-1 2.2 Alternative 2A Upper Crab Creek from Pinto Dam to Moses Lake (Perennial) ...... 2-1 2.3 Alternative 2B Upper Crab Creek from Pinto Dam to Moses Lake (Ephemeral) .... 2-3 2.4 Alternative 3 West Canal to Potholes Utilizing the Frenchman Hills Wasteway..... 2-4 2.5 Alternatives Eliminated ............................................................................................... 2-5 2.6 Preferred Alternative.................................................................................................... 2-5

    3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT .................................................................................... 3-1 3.1 Resources Not Affected by the Proposed Alternatives................................................ 3-1 3.2 Fish and Wildlife.......................................................................................................... 3-1 3.3 Threatened and Endangered Species ........................................................................... 3-8 3.4 Historic Resources ....................................................................................................... 3-9 3.5 Hydrology .................................................................................................................. 3-12 3.6 Vegetation .................................................................................................................. 3-17 3.7 Geology/Soils (Erosion)............................................................................................. 3-18 3.8 Water Quality............................................................................................................. 3-19 3.9 Land Use .................................................................................................................... 3-24 3.10 Recreation .................................................................................................................. 3-26 3.11 Hazardous and Toxic Materials ................................................................................. 3-27 3.12 Other Issues................................................................................................................ 3-28

    4.0 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES................................................................... 4-1

    4.1 Fish and Wildlife.......................................................................................................... 4-1 4.2 Threatened and Endangered Species ........................................................................... 4-5 4.3 Historic Resources ....................................................................................................... 4-6 4.4 Hydrology .................................................................................................................... 4-8 4.5 Vegetation .................................................................................................................. 4-10 4.6 Geology/Soils (Erosion)............................................................................................. 4-11 4.7 Water Quality............................................................................................................. 4-12 4.8 Land Use .................................................................................................................... 4-15 4.9 Recreation .................................................................................................................. 4-16 4.10 Hazardous and Toxic Materials ................................................................................. 4-18 4.11 Other Issues................................................................................................................ 4-18

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    4.12 Cumulative Impacts ................................................................................................... 4-19

    5.0 LIST OF PREPARERS................................................................................................. 5-1

    6.0 CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION.............................................................. 6-1

    7.0 DISTRIBUTION LIST.................................................................................................. 7-1

    8.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................................... 8-1

  • 1.0 PURPOSE OF AND NEED FOR ACTION

    1.1 Background Potholes Reservoir is a feature of the Columbia Basin Project (CBP), located in central Washington State. The CBP was authorized for the irrigation of 1,029,000 acres; currently, approximately 671,000 acres (557,530 acres of platted farm units, 73,227 acres of water service contracts, 40,323 acres of Quincy sub-groundwater license) are served by the CBP; most development occurred in the 1950s and 1960s with acreage added sporadically through the mid-1980s. In the late 1970s, The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) determined that a feed route to Potholes Reservoir was necessary to ensure a reliable supply of water for the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District (SCBID) (Reclamation 1980). The CBP was designed so that overall return flows from irrigation on the northern half of the project would be captured in Potholes Reservoir and subsequently used to supply land in the south half of the CBP. As outlined in House Document 172 (H. Doc. 172, 79th Cong., 1st Session, Joint Report on Allocation & Repayment of the Costs of the Columbia Basin Project, Reclamation Report of Oct. 30, 1944, approved by the Secretary on Jan. 31, 1945), the project was estimated to take 71 years to complete and was to be developed in phases. Irrigation development in the north half is not yet capable of providing the return flows needed to provide a full supply of water for the south end of the CBP. To correct this problem, a feed route was developed to move water from Banks Lake to Potholes Reservoir. The feed route transports water through the Main Canal to the bifurcation, then south through the East Low Canal (ELC) to Rocky Coulee Wasteway where the feed is discharged into Upper Crab Creek near the north end of Moses Lake. From this point, the water moves through Moses Lake and into Potholes Reservoir at the Moses Lake outlet structure. Feeding can be done early and late in the irrigation season when demand for irrigation water is low and the ELC is operating at less than full capacity. At these times, the unused capacity is used to carry feed water to Potholes Reservoir. The ELC feed route solved the immediate problem in 1980 and is still used today as the primary route. However, the ability of this route to meet the required need has diminished over time. Improvements in irrigation efficiency in the northern half of the project have led to lower returns and an increased need for feed. In addition, demand has changed. Block 26 was added to the Potholes system in 1984 and the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District (ECBID) Supplement No. 1 to the Master Water Service Contract allowed for additional use out of the ELC. As a result, the demand on Potholes is greater, and the amount of unused capacity in the ELC has declined. These factors and a need for system reliability have led to the need for a supplemental feed route.

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    Bureau of Reclamation

  • 1.2 Purpose and Need for the Action Reclamation is proposing to establish a supplemental feed route to supply water to Potholes Reservoir. A lack of full development of north half irrigation facilities, irrigation facility efficiency improvements, and an increase in demand have diminished the reliability of the existing primary feed route. Insufficient feed water into Potholes Reservoir could negatively impact water deliveries to the SCBID. The purpose of this project is to increase the reliability of transporting water from Banks Lake to Potholes Reservoir in order to offset current limitations of the CBP. Reclamation has a responsibility to deliver water to the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District (SCBID) under Article 13(a) of the Amendatory, Supplemental, and Replacement Repayment Contract the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District which s

    between the United States of America and tates:

    The water supply available for irrigation of the lands entitled to receive water from each of the canals systems shall be delivered by the United States at the Bifurcation Works of the Main Canal in the case of the West and East Low Canals, and at the outlet works of OSullivan Dam in the case of the Potholes Canal.

    In determining a preferred alternative, emphases is on options that are economically justified, financially feasible, and utilize existing infrastructure and/or natural topography to convey the feed with the understanding that some additional facilities may need to be constructed. The scope of the study is limited to the physical area of the CBP from Billy Clapp Reservoir to Potholes Reservoir.

    1.3 Cooperating Agencies and Related Actions A Memorandum of Understanding concerning the State of Washingtons Columbia River Initiative was entered into between the State of Washington, the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the SCBID, the ECBID, and the Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation (Q-CBID) District on December 17, 2004. The parties agreed to cooperate in numerous studies, one of those being the Potholes Assessment, a part of which is the alternative feed route study. The State of Washington, through the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE), has been a full partner with Reclamation on the alternative feed route study. WDOE took part in the scoping for the project, discussed below, has funded Reclamations work on the study, and has been an active participant in the development of this draft EA. Should one of the action alternatives be selected for implementation, the WDOE would continue in their role as a partner, assisting with implementation when all necessary compliance activities are completed. Other cooperating agencies on the project include the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Columbia Basin Project Irrigation Districts.

    Project Objectives Identify an alternative that: Provides supplemental feed water to

    Potholes Reservoir Is economically justified Is financially feasible Utilizes existing infrastructure

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  • 1.3.1 Related Actions Reclamation will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the WDFW to develop a management plan for lands along the selected feed route. The plan will include adaptive management elements to ensure that the plan is flexible and able to change in the future if needed. These projects could include a number of activities proposed by the wildlife agencies, including modifications to existing control structures, and development of isolation structures for side streams. Additional environmental compliance will be done on any additional actions associated with this project.

    1.4 Authority This project is being undertaken under the authority of the Columbia Basin Project Act of 1943 and the Reclamation Act of 1939. House Document 172 (H. Doc. No. 172), submitted by the Secretary to the President and Congress in1945.

    1.5 Public Scoping A community meeting was held on May 16, 2006, in Ephrata, Washington. The purpose of this meeting was to present project concepts, goals, and objectives to the public. Additionally, a major goal of the meeting was to promote discussion and elicit input from the public detailing additional alternatives and overall concerns.

    1.6 Environmental Concerns and Issues Environmental concerns and issues related to the project were determined by the study team and from the public meeting. Concerns raised during the public meeting generally covered the following areas:

    Sedimentation in Moses Lake Impacts to recreation Aquatic weed infiltration due to changes in water quality in Moses Lake Impacts to Soap Lake, Moses Lake, Billy Clapp Lake, and Banks Lake Effects on endangered species below Potholes Reservoir Beaver dams Potential flooding along the proposed routes Effects on private property Cumulative effects of water usage, diversions, etc.

    In addition to these concerns, Reclamation determined which resources may or may not be affected by the project. These resources included: Potholes Supplemental Feed Route Draft Environmental Assessment

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  • Fish and wildlife Threatened and endangered species Historic Properties Hydrology Vegetation Geology/soils Stream morphology Water quality Land use Recreation Hazardous and toxic materials Other issues

    These issues are either discussed or addressed in Chapter 3 and impacts to relevant resources are discussed in Chapter 4.

    1.7 Permits and Related Laws The following are Federal, State, and local permits and related laws necessary to comply with in order to implement the proposed project. 1.7.1 National Environmental Policy Act Reclamation is responsible for determining if the proposed project might have significant effects to the human environment under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). If Reclamation determines that effects are not significant, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will be prepared. A FONSI would allow Reclamation to proceed with the proposed action without preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. 1.7.2 Endangered Species Act The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires Federal agencies to ensure that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. Section 7 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. Section 1536[a][2]), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries (NMFS) for marine and anadromous species, or the United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) for fresh-water and wildlife species, if an agency is proposing an action that may affect listed species or their designated habitat. If such species may be present, the Federal agency must conduct a biological assessment (BA) to analyze the potential effects of the project on listed species and critical habitat in order to establish and justify an effect determination. Potholes Supplemental Feed Route Draft Environmental Assessment

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  • 1.7.3 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) establishes the rights of Native American groups to human remains of Native American ancestry and certain associated cultural or funerary objects recovered from Federal or Indian lands. The Act also establishes procedures and consultation requirements for intentional excavation or accidental discovery of Native American remains on Federal or Tribal lands. If these resources were discovered, Reclamation would consult with the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) and appropriate Tribe or Tribes. These consultations would aid in determining measures to mitigate the adverse effects. 1.7.4 National Historic Preservation Act The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) requires that Federal agencies complete inventories and site evaluation actions to identify cultural resources that may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (National Register) and then ensure those resources are not inadvertently transferred, sold, demolished, substantially altered, or allowed to deteriorate significantly. Regulations entitled Protection of Historic Properties (36 CFR 800) defines the process for implementing requirements of the NHPA, including consultation with the appropriate State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. 1.7.5 Permitting Implementation of the preferred alternative may require acquisition of permits. As each alternative will require different actions, different permits may need to be acquired. This may involve permitting with the WDFW, Ecology, the Corps of Engineers, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and other federal, State, or local governments. Reclamation or managing partners will apply for all applicable permits.

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  • 2.0 ALTERNATIVES

    This chapter describes the alternatives or potential actions, and includes the general environmental consequences of the proposed alternatives.

    2.1 Alternative 1 Continue Current Feed Route via East Low Canal (No Action)

    Project Alternatives 1 No Action 2A Crab Creek Perennial 2B Crab Creek Ephemeral 3 Frenchman Hills Wasteway

    The no action alternative would provide water to Potholes Reservoir via existing feed routes. The reservoir receives and stores runoff water from the Upper Crab Creek Basin and return flows from irrigated land served by the West and East Low Canals. This water then becomes the water supply for the area served by the Potholes Canal System. Current amounts of runoff and return flows are not sufficient to supply the required irrigation water to the Potholes Canal System. Feed water is therefore diverted from Banks Lake to Potholes to meet the Potholes Canal System water supply shortfall. At present, the Potholes Canal System serves approximately 204,000 acres, requiring up to 990,000 acre-feet annually from Potholes Reservoir. To meet this supply Potholes Reservoir requires up to 350,000 acre-feet of feed annually. There are three feed routes currently being utilized: The primary route is through the ELC to Rocky Coulee Wasteway, then into Upper Crab Creek, through Moses Lake, and finally into Potholes Reservoir. The two secondary routes are through Lind Coulee Wasteway and through Frenchman Hills Wasteway. The first of these is through the ELC to Lind Coulee Wasteway, which runs directly into Potholes Reservoir. The other is through the West Canal to Frenchman Hills Wasteway, which also runs directly into Potholes Reservoir. More detail on the current operations is supplied in Chapter 3. Environmental effects associated with this alternative are mainly related to the potential shortage of water delivered to Potholes Reservoir. No new construction or management practices would occur under this alternative, and would therefore have no environmental impacts.

    2.2 Alternative 2A Upper Crab Creek from Pinto Dam to Moses Lake (Perennial)

    Alternative 2A Release water from Billy Clapp Reservoir into Upper Crab Creek year-round.

    This alternative would release feed water from Billy Clapp Reservoir through the 4x4 foot outlet into Brook Lake, a natural water body within the Crab Creek channel. The water would then be conveyed down Crab Creek to and through Moses Lake to Potholes Reservoir. Detailed construction models were developed by CH2MHill for this alternative and are available in Reclamations office in Ephrata, WA.

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  • Modifications to Crab Creek will include an outlet structure and energy dissipater from the Pinto Dam 4x4 slide gate to Brook Lake, removal of a rock weir at the outlet of Brook Lake and installation of an overflow weir section constructed of concrete approximately 100 feet wide at the same locations as described in CH2M Hills report. In addition, several obstructions within the first 5 miles of Crab Creek below Brook Lake will be removed including a rock structure near the inlet to Round Lake and two other raised areas described as beaver dams downstream of the second railroad bridge. A dike approximately 100 feet long across the left or Lone Springs channel of the creek will be constructed to protect the Lone Springs stream from becoming infested by carp. The road crossing at Rd. 16 NE will be improved and a rock barrier approximately 400 feet long to isolate the side channel near Loan Springs will be carried out, as described in CH2M Hills report. The Stratford Rd crossing in the town of Stratford will not be improved as there is an alternate route around the creek and Grant County has indicated they have plans to improve Stratford Road, which include replacement of the crossing. Sediment transportation studies indicate that only minor amounts of sediment will be transported through the system and no modifications to the creek are anticipated for erosion protection. Under this alternative approximately 100 cfs of base flow would be released from Billy Clapp Reservoir year-round with larger spring feed of up to 500 cfs occurring between April 1 and June 30. The 100 cfs base inflow would move approximately 72,000 acre-feet annually from the existing feed to Potholes Reservoir to the supplemental route. The base feed would add 30,000 acre-feet to the winter inflows to Potholes Reservoir, while still providing sufficient capacity to capture a 25-year runoff volume in the reservoir. To meet the winter releases, Billy Clapp Reservoir would be drawn down to an elevation of 1300 feet by March 1 and refilled to 1326 feet by the third week of March at a rate of two feet per day. In addition to the base feed, this route could be used during the spring, summer months to increase the feed during dry years when existing feed routes are at capacity and water is still needed to fill Potholes. The exact amount would vary due to runoff and irrigation demands. The ability to feed 500 cfs from April through the end of June, if needed, would provide 54,000 acre-feet. The annual total feed with this route could be 126,000 acre-feet. This would replace existing feed, primarily down the Rocky Coulees wasteway, and would not be an addition to the total annual feed. Environmental effects associated with this alternative are mainly related to alterations at Pinto Dam, modifications to the Crab Creek channel, and increased flows in Crab Creek and Rocky Ford Creek.

    2.3 Alternative 2B Upper Crab Creek from Pinto Dam to Moses Lake (Ephemeral)

    This alternative is identical to 2A with the exception of the timing and volume of water released from Billy Clapp. In order to achieve the necessary amount of feed this alternative would require the annual release of approximately 650 cfs from Billy Clapp Reservoir between approximately April 1

    Alternative 2B Release water from Billy Clapp Reservoir into Upper Crab Creek part of the year.

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  • and June 30. The 650 cfs flow for this period would supply approximately 87,000 acre-feet through this supplemental route. The exact amount would vary due to runoff and irrigation demands. As with alternative 2A, the feed would replace feed down Rocky Coulee wasteway. This alternative would not affect winter water levels in Billy Clapp Reservoir. Environmental effects associated with this alternative are mainly related to alterations at Pinto Dam, modifications to the Crab Creek channel, and increased flows in Crab Creek and Rocky Ford Creek as described in Alternative 2A.

    2.4 Alternative 3 West Canal to Potholes Utilizing the Frenchman Hills Wasteway

    Under this alternative, feed water would be conveyed from Billy Clapp Reservoir via the Main Canal and West Canal to the Frenchman Hills Wasteway, which is currently being used for a portion of the feed route. The water would then be discharged through the Frenchman Hills Wasteway into Potholes Reservoir. Detailed construction models were developed by CH2MHill for this alternative and are available in Reclamations office in Ephrata, WA. Frenchman Hills Wasteway crosses under two county roads, Dodson Road and Road C SE. Implementation of this alternative would require the alteration of the Road C SE crossing. The Road C SE crossing has a capacity of 500 cfs. The current annual peak flow in Frenchman Hills Wasteway is 500 cfs, with the April to May flow ranging from 350 to 400 cfs, as measured at Road C SE.

    Frenchman Hills Wasteway is currently used during the spring feed operation. Currently, feed is limited to between 100 to 150 cfs of feed because of Road C SE culvert flow capacity above current return flows. Under this alternative additional feed would be shifted from the Rocky Coulee wasteway route and fed down Frenchman Hills Wasteway.

    Alternative 3 Supplemental feed water is delivered through the Frenchman Hills Wasteway into Potholes Reservoir.

    The West Canal is charged with water from the Main Canal at the bifurcation around the third week of March. The first week of the irrigation season is used to charge the canal systems indicating a start date for feed through the Frenchman Hills Wasteway of approximately the fourth week of March. The Q-CBID treats the canal system for aquatic weeds. Due to the nature of material used for weed treatment, no water can be released to a feed route while a treatment is taking place. Additionally, due to the difficulty of starting and stopping large flow rates in the canal system, it is assumed that large feed flows will not be restarted after the first treatment. The West Canal treatment starts during the second week of May and results in the final feed for the Frenchman Hills Wasteway during the third week of May. In addition to the aquatic weed treatment constraint, space must be maintained in the West Canal for emergency shutdown of five main pumping plants: Quincy, Babcock, Evergreen, Frenchman Springs, and Frenchman Hills. This limits the capacity of the West Canal to carry feed water to a maximum total, including existing feed, of 700 cfs. This maximum feed can only occur at the

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  • very beginning of the irrigation season and rapidly declines. Additionally, Frenchman Hills Wasteway needs to be able to pass flows resulting from a potential canal failure in the fifth section of the West Canal or the Royal Branch Canal. In order to take into account the maximum feed of 700 cfs, the Frenchman Hills Wasteway would need to be able to pass 1500 cfs. To do this the culvert crossing at Road C SE would need to be enlarged as detailed in CH2MHills report. Frenchman Hills Wasteway feeds approximately 21,000 acre-feet in the spring. Assuming enlarged culvert crossings, the West Canal would have a capacity to feed an additional 25,000 acre-feet in the spring via Frenchman Hills Wasteway, replacing feed down Rocky Coulee Wasteway. The Frenchman Hills Wasteway route does not have additional capacity to add to summer feed. In addition, the wasteway would not be used for fall feed. Environmental effects associated with this alternative are mainly related to the crossing alteration, and the increased flow in Frenchman Hills Wasteway.

    2.5 Alternatives Eliminated In preparation of this document, one alternative was developed, but eliminated from further study. This alternative required the construction of a new canal and siphon to divert water from the W20 lateral to Rocky Ford Creek. This alternative was eliminated because construction costs were too high, preliminarily estimated at $16,000,000, and because the alternative only provided about 50,000 acre-feet of additional feed water (i.e., the cost-to-flow ratio was too high). No other alternatives were identified.

    2.6 Preferred Alternative Reclamation has determined that the preferred alternative for this project is alternative 2A Upper Crab Creek from Pinto Dam to Moses Lake (Perennial).

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  • 3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT

    This chapter presents relevant resource components of the existing environment to be affected or created by the alternatives under consideration.

    3.1 Resources Not Affected by the Proposed Alternatives The following table 3-1 details all resources eliminated from further consideration in this document. These resources include concerns raised during the public meeting, or normally covered in environmental documents, that are definitively irrelevant to this discussion of environmental impacts.

    Table 3-1: Resources Not Affected by the Proposed Alternatives Resource/Concern Justification

    Soap Lake None of the alternatives would have direct or indirect effects on Soap Lake, as any additional seepage from the West Canal will be intercepted by the Soap Lake Protective Works. All other impacts would occur below Billy Clapp Lake.

    Below Potholes Reservoir None of the alternatives would cause impacts below Potholes Reservoir. All of the alternatives deliver water to Potholes Reservoir; releases from the reservoir would remain unchanged.

    Climate/Air Quality Minor impacts to climate or air quality may occur during construction activities.

    Economics The amount of water fed into Potholes Reservoir remains unchanged. This will not affect existing or potential economic development.

    Noise/Visual Impacts Some noise or visual impacts may occur during construction associated with the alternatives; however, these impacts were determined to be minimal and did not warrant further consideration.

    Wild and Scenic Rivers No Wild and Scenic Rivers are located within the project area.

    Wetlands No direct impacts to wetlands were identified. Some of the alternatives may lead to potential wetland projects; however, those projects would be considered by the appropriate party on a case-by-case basis.

    3.2 Fish and Wildlife This section is taken from US Fish and Wildlifes Planning Aid Memo (PAM) written in 2006. This document is available from Reclamations offices in Ephrata, WA. 3.2.1 Affected Environment The following discussion describes existing conditions in the project area. The specific areas of interest within the project area include Billy Clapp Reservoir, middle Crab Creek, Moses Lake, Frenchman Hills Wasteway, and Potholes Reservoir.

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  • Billy Clapp Reservoir Billy Clapp Reservoir is an artificial reservoir formed by Pinto Dam, which is part of the CBP. The reservoir is a 1010-acre equalizing reservoir 10.5 miles downstream from Banks Lake. The lake is approximately 6 miles long and forms a wide spot in the Main Canal with an average inflow/outflow rate of 6500 cfs of water during normal irrigation demand periods. This results in a rather rapid turnover rate for the reservoir, and low retention of nutrients. These characteristics complicate fish management for this water body. Using a supplemental feed route will not increase the amount of water flowing through Billy Clapp. Synonymous with irrigation waters is a continuous recruitment, or replenishment, of the twenty plus fish species present. Gamefish as well as less desirable fish such as carp (Cyprinus carpio), northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosis), and suckers (Catostomus sp.) are common (WDG 1982). Historically, Billy Clapp was a very popular kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka) and walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) fishery. These two fish species accounted for around 95 percent of the fishing activities (Stober 1979). Stober's study gave evidence that Billy Clapp's kokanee fishery was somewhat dependent upon adult kokanee that emigrated from Banks Lake via the Main Canal. The installation of an outlet barrier net at Banks Lake from 1978-1981 appeared to have a negative impact on the Billy Clapp fisheries, including walleye (WDG 1982). Billy Clapp Reservoir is one of several wildlife areas in the Columbia Basin, which is one of the most important waterfowl breeding grounds in Washington. It provides a resting area for migrating lesser Canada geese (Branta Canadensis) each fall. Many other birds also use this area for resting and feeding on their annual migrations along the Pacific Flyway, including:

    Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) Redheads (Aythya Americana) Canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) Ringnecks (Aythya collaris) Ruddy ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis) Gadwalls (Anas strepera) Bluewing teal (Anas discors) Greenwing teal (Anas crecca) Northern shoveler (Anas clypeata) Pintails (Anas acuta) Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula) Wood ducks (Aix sponsa)

    Shorebirds are also common in the CBP and include:

    Caspian terns (Sterna caspia) American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis)

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  • Swans (Cygnus sp.)

    Game birds are also present in the area and include:

    Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) Chukar (Alectoris chukar) Gray partridge (Perdix perdix) California quail (Lophortyx californicus)

    Coyote (Canis latrans) are the most abundant predatory mammal. Jackrabbit (Lepus sp.), marmot (Marmota sp.), ground squirrel (Citellus sp.), muskrat (Ondotra zibethica), and a wide variety of shrews (Sorex sp.) occur. Mule deer (Odoccoileus hemionus) occur in fringe areas where suitable habitat exists. Resident prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), wintering bald eagle (Haleaeetus leucocephalus), and the occasional snowy owl (Nyceta scandiaca) or gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) are present. Middle Crab Creek Middle Crab Creek is the most heavily populated reach within the Crab Creek Subbasin, with the City of Moses Lake as the main human population center. It is this reach that endures the most winter and spring runoff that carries agricultural chemicals and eroded soil from Upper Crab Creek. However, Brook Lake intercepts flows and acts as a sump for much of the silt and chemicals. Historical information indicates that long before irrigation development, perennial connection between Crab Creek at Brook and/or Round Lakes and Moses Lake did not occur (Evermann 1909). Groves (1951) states that only two tributaries historically fed Moses Lake: Rocky Ford Creek, and a small tributary emanating from two points above Parker Horn, probably in the Willow Lakes area and at Homestead Creek. Only during high water conditions did Upper Crab Creek flow through the present Willow Lakes area and on to Moses Lake at Parker Horn. Today, several springs join the Crab Creek channel in this reach because of elevated groundwater from irrigation development. The springs creating the 7 miles of nearby Rocky Ford Creek are connected by underground flows to Crab Creek near Round and Willow Lakes. This portion of Crab Creek also contains the Gloyd Seeps Wildlife Area. The wildlife area is about 10,000 acres of public land owned by the WDFW and Reclamation. It is managed by WDFW for wildlife habitat and wildlife related recreation. Numerous wetlands, ponds, and seeps are surrounded by older shrub-steppe uplands and basalt scablands. Fires have created grasslands on most of the area along the west side of Crab Creek. When last inventoried, the Gloyd Seeps Wildlife Area was approximately 73 percent shrub-steppe (including grasslands created by fire), 7 percent wetland, 6 percent steppe, 6 percent riparian, and 4 percent open water habitat. Habitat enhancements include 18 acres of planted shrubs in 3 locations, 40-200 acres of grain fields in 6 locations, 5 winter feeders dispensing about 500 lbs. of wheat each year, 4

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  • impounded ponds (Homestead, Magpie, Mansfield & Gloyd), and 2 flooded fields (the Flood Flat and Spud Field). WDFW releases 1500 cock pheasants on Gloyd Seeps during the hunting season. Trout are planted at Homestead Creek, Mansfield Pond, Gloyd Seeps, and a few places in the main stem of Crab Creek. Public access to the wildlife area is somewhat limited by lack of roads. WDFW maintains about 5 miles of gravel and dirt roads for public access into the wildlife area from nearby county roads. A lack of perennial flows limits the establishment of an effective fishery in most of middle Crab Creek. Trout fisheries are currently managed where perennial flows do exist. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), brown trout (Salmo trutta), eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), and tiger trout (Salmo trutta x Salvelinus fontinalis) are stocked annually. The system is managed as a low-key trout fishery with statewide rules and walk-in access. Angling success is sporadic, and stocking occurs on an as available basis. Willow and South Willow Lakes are stocked with rainbow trout when water levels permit. When adequate water is present, fingerling trout survival is sufficient to produce a good trout fishery. However, adequate water has been available less than 25 percent of the last 20 years. During lower water periods, these waters have been good warmwater fisheries, most notably for black crappie (Pomaxis nigromaculatus). The Homestead tributary flows westerly to Crab Creek at Road 12. The plentiful springs that feed this system have exceptional water quality. The habitat is diverse, consisting of about 3 miles of creeks with beaver (Castor canadensis) dams, impoundments, and the artificially created Homestead Lake of 30 acres and a maximum depth of 10 feet. Flows throughout the system are perennial and vary with irrigation season and the resultant re-charging of local groundwater. Base flow is approximately 10 cfs. Several hydraulic projects to enhance fisheries and improve waterfowl production were constructed in this area during the 1970s. The outlet dam and water control structure forming Homestead Lake and the barrier dam separating Homestead Creek and Crab Creek prevent fish migration from Crab Creek. The Homestead system is managed as a quality trout fishery. Rainbow, brown, tiger, and eastern brook trout are stocked annually. Other management actions include selective gear regulations, one fish limit, a year around season, and walk-in access. The entire Homestead system was treated with rotenone, a fish-killing chemical, to remove carp in 1994, and no deleterious fish species have been noted since. Initially, the trout fishery was very good; however, low flows and aquatic weed growth has since diminished fingerling survival. The Magpie system is another smaller tributary that flows westerly to Crab Creek at Road 12, although it has very rarely actually connected via surface water. Spring-origin flows are perennial and vary with irrigation season and the resultant re-charging of local groundwater. The habitat is diverse, consisting of about one and a half miles of creek with a base flow of 2 cfs, beaver dam impoundments, and an artificially created lake of 11 acres and a maximum depth of 10 feet. Several hydraulic projects to enhance the fisheries and waterfowl production were constructed in the 1970s. The outlet dam and water control structure forming Magpie Lake prevented fish migration from Crab Creek. The Magpie system is managed as a trout fishery with statewide rules (currently a year around season and five fish limit) and walk-in access.

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  • Rainbow, brown, tiger, and eastern brook trout are planted annually. The entire system was treated with rotenone to remove carp and bass in 1994; however, both species and other introductions currently persist. The Gloyd Seeps are another system of springs that form a small tributary that flows westerly to Crab Creek at Road 10. Spring-origin flows are perennial and vary with irrigation season and the resultant re-charging of local groundwater. Several hydraulic projects to enhance the fisheries and waterfowl production have been constructed to prevent fish migration from Crab Creek. The system is managed as a low-key trout fishery with State-wide rules and walk-in access. Rainbow, brown, tiger, and eastern brook trout are allotted annually. Angling success is sporadic, and stocking occurs on an as available basis. The bird and mammal species that utilize this are essentially identical to that described for Billy Clapp Reservoir. One notable exception is that this area is of significant importance for the northern leopard frog (Rana pipens) as it contains the only two confirmed occurrences of this species in the State of Washington since 1992 (McAllister 1999). Moses Lake Moses Lake is the third largest natural lake in Washington and represents a valuable asset for wildlife and fisheries propagation and recreational interest. The lake covers a maximum of 6800 acres (10.6 square miles), inundates 51.9 kilometers of shoreline, and is 16.75 kilometers long. Tributaries to Moses Lake encompass approximately 2041 square kilometers, principally within the Crab Creek drainage (Bain 1990). The longest part of the lake is fed by a spring-fed tributary, Rocky Ford Creek. The source of this creek is a series of springs located about 4.2 kilometers east of Ephrata (Brown and Caldwell 1978). Following the development of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project in the early 1950s, surface and subsurface runoff entering Moses Lake increased substantially and will be enhanced by the Supplemental Feed to Potholes Reservoir. Native fish present in Moses Lake include largescale sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus), longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus), peamouth (Mylocheilus caurinus), and northern pikeminnow. Common carp, which have dominated the lake for the past 90 years, were first introduced to the lake when flood waters breached the outlet of the lake connecting it to the Columbia River in 1904 (Groves 1951). Gamefish species present in the lake include black crappie, bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosis), walleye, largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), rainbow trout, and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis). Sixteen species of fish are known to currently occupy Moses Lake. In the areas surrounding Moses Lake, coyotes are the most abundant predatory mammal. Jackrabbits, marmots, ground squirrels, muskrats, and a wide variety of mice and shrews occur. Mule deer occur in fringe areas where suitable habitat exists.

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  • Frenchman Hills Wasteway The Frenchman Hills Wasteway is managed as a part of the Desert Wildlife Area (DWA). The DWA is 35,100 acres in size, and was desert prior to the construction of the CBP. Black sands created by ground-up basalt formed sand dunes, which were very actively moving until recent times. The natural basin now serves as a collector for irrigation water from upslope farmlands. Most of this water is collected in the Winchester and Frenchman Hills Wasteways. County roads provide access to much of the perimeter of this large area. Access to the interior is primarily on foot. Large numbers of waterfowl utilize the remote wetlands. Coyotes are the most abundant predatory mammal. Jackrabbits, marmots, ground squirrels, muskrats, and a wide variety of mice and shrews occur. Mule deer are present and are a primary management focus in this area. Many ponds have been isolated from the wasteways with low sand dikes to exclude carp and improve waterfowl habitat. This area is important to birds both as a relatively undisturbed breeding area and as an important stopover point during migration to rest and refuel. Winter residents find the areas of thick brush an ideal location to find food and cover. A game reserve on part of the wasteway attracts ducks and geese during the fall migration, improving local waterfowl hunting. There are a series of ponds with water control structures north of the reserve, which are also managed to attract waterfowl for hunting and to provide some brooding habitat for dabbling ducks. Year-round residents include:

    Red-tailed hawk American kestrel (Falco sparverius) Great horned (Bubo virginianus) Short-eared (Asio flammeus) and long-eared (Asio otus) owls Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) Black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

    There are also several species of waterfowl present including song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) and marsh wren (Cistothorus palustris). Breeding residents that migrate to and from this area include:

    Black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) Swainson's hawk Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) Black tern (Chlidonias niger)

    Many migrants utilize the area and include solitary sandpiper (Tringa solitaria), American white pelican, tundra swan, bald eagle, and the usual wading birds and waterfowl. Passerines find the thickets especially attractive, and swamp (Melospiza Georgiana), white-throated (Zonotrichia albicollis), and Harris's (Zonotrichia querula) sparrow have all been observed. Sharp-shinned (Accipiter striatus) and Cooper's (Accipiter cooperii) hawks are common in late fall and winter. Potholes Supplemental Feed Route Draft Environmental Assessment Bureau of Reclamation

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  • Merlins (Falco columbarius) are also regular around the thickets in fall and winter. Snowy owls (Bubo scandiacus) have been observed in the dune areas. Potholes Reservoir Potholes Reservoir is a 28,200-acre reservoir formed by the construction of OSullivan Dam across the Crab Creek valley in 1949. Water flows into the reservoir from the outlet of Moses Lake via Crab Creek, and irrigation return water from Winchester Wasteway, Frenchman Hills Wasteway, and Lind Coulee. Water discharge occurs through OSullivan Dam to the Potholes Canal to irrigate farmlands in Adams and Franklin Counties. Owned by Reclamation, Potholes Reservoir is renowned for its warmwater fishery, wetland habitat for colonial nesting birds, and attracts large numbers of migrant and wintering waterfowl. Since its inception, Potholes Reservoir has been populated by warmwater gamefish species such as largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead (Ictalurus nebulosus), and non-gamefish such as largescale sucker, bridgelip sucker (Catostomus columbianus), longnose sucker, and common carp. These species are believed to have been present in the backwaters of Crab Creek prior to reservoir impoundment and may have drifted down from Moses Lake. Lake whitefish and burbot (Lota lota) were also discovered in Potholes Reservoir and likely migrated from Banks Lake via irrigation canals from Billy Clapp and Moses Lakes (Fletcher 1997). In the early 1970s, walleye and yellow bullhead (Ictalurus natalis) entered the reservoir most likely by the same method as whitefish. Smallmouth bass were released into Frenchman Hills Wasteway from 1958 to 1964 by the Washington Department of Game and the Richland Rod and Gun Club (Duff 1974) and are now a species of major importance to the fishery of Potholes Reservoir. Hatchery releases of rainbow trout, brown trout, and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) also contribute to the fishery of this reservoir (Fletcher 1997). Potholes Reservoir has a diverse population of colonial nesting birds that include ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis), California gull (L. californicus), caspian tern, Foresters tern (Sterna forsteri), black-crowned night heron, double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), great blue heron, great egret (Casmerodius albus), western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis), and Clarks grebe (Aechmophorus clarkia). Hundreds of small, sandy islands are found within Potholes Reservoir. These dunes contain such vegetation as willow (Salix spp.), sand dock (Rumex venosus), wild alfalfa (Psoralea tenuiflora), and mustard (Isymbrium spp.) which provide ideal breeding, nesting, and rearing sites for these colonial birds (Finger 1997). Potholes Reservoir also attracts large numbers of migratory waterfowl. The most abundant migratory waterfowl includes mallards, green wing teal, wigeon, gadwall, and Canada goose. Migratory waterfowl that use Potholes Reservoir for breeding include Canada goose, mallard, gadwall, and cinnamon teal (Anas cyanoptera). This area contains one of the largest rookeries of great blue herons and great egrets in the State. In late summer and early fall, it is one of the largest staging areas for American white pelicans in the State. Winter brings large numbers of

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  • bald eagles, which use the area as a nighttime roost. North Potholes Reservoir also hosts one of the only known communities of bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus).

    3.3 Threatened and Endangered Species Upper Columbia steelhead (threatened), bull trout (threatened), and Chinook salmon (endangered) are federally listed in Grant County, specifically in the Columbia River. Since none of the alternatives would have a direct or indirect impact on the Columbia River or Lower Crab Creek, a designated critical habitat for steelhead, these species have not been considered further. 3.3.1 Affected Environment In preparation of this document, the USFWS and NMFS websites were consulted to determine the potential of threatened or endangered species within the project area, Grant County. The listed species are shown in table 3-2:

    Table 3-2: Threatened and Endangered Species, Grant County Species Status Managing Agency

    Upper Columbia River Spring Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    Endangered NMFS

    Upper Columbia River Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

    Threatened NMFS

    Pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis)

    Endangered USFWS

    Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

    Threatened USFWS

    Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus)

    Threatened USFWS

    Ute ladies-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis)

    Threatened USFWS

    Bald Eagle Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) occur along the Columbia River and its tributaries. Suitable habitat includes areas that are close to water and provide a suitable food resource, such as anadromous or resident fish, waterfowl or carrion and where human disturbance is not excessive. Bald eagles are known to inhabit the Potholes and Moses Lake areas during the winter months. In the Pacific Northwest, bald eagles typically nest in multi-layered, coniferous forest stands with old growth trees located within one mile of large bodies of water. Factors such as relative tree height, diameter, species, form, and position on the surrounding topography, distance from the water and distance from disturbance appear to influence nest site selection. Bald eagles

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  • usually nest in the same territories each year and often use the same nest repeatedly. Availability of suitable trees for nesting and perching is critical for maintaining bald eagle populations. All of the proposed alternatives have varying numbers of available nesting and perch trees. Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit Pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) were found in the Columbia Basin (Washington) and Great Basin (Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada) of the United States (WDFW 2005). Historically, pygmy rabbits occurred in native shrub-steppe habitat in five counties in Washington. Six populations were known as recently as 1997. Approximately 23 rabbits were released in Douglas County in March of 2007 as part of a program to reestablish the species. (http://wdfw.wa.gov/do/newreal/release.php?id=mar0507a). The pygmy rabbit is dependent upon sagebrush, primarily big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), and is usually found in areas where big sagebrush grows in very dense stands. Tall, dense sagebrush clumps are essential (WDFW 1995). While most of the alternatives have sagebrush, none of the alternatives has tall, dense stands of sagebrush. Ute ladies-tresses Ute ladies-tresses (Spiranthus diluvialis) is a plant species within the orchid family that was federally listed as a threatened species on January 17, 1992. It was discovered in Washington State for the first time in Okanogan County (USFWS 1998). Ute ladies- tresses are found in moist soils near riparian areas, lakes, mesic to wet meadows, river meanders, and perennial spring habitats. This plant generally occurs within an elevation range between 1500 and 7000 feet, with the lower elevations in the western part of its range. The orchid generally occurs below montane forests, in open areas of shrub or grassland, or in transitional zones. It is considered a lowland species, typically occurring beside or near gradient medium to large streams and rivers. The plant is not found on steep mountainous parts of a watershed, nor out in the flats along slow meandering streams. This species tends to occupy grass, rush, sedge, and willow sapling dominated openings.

    3.4 Historic Resources Historic properties are defined as buildings, sites, structures, or objects that may have historical, architectural, archaeological, cultural, or scientific importance (36 CFR PART 800 ' 800.16(1)(1). A legislative and regulatory basis requires the identification, evaluation, protection, and management of historic resources in Federal undertakings. The following discussion is in response to the data needs required principally by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), as amended. NHPA requires that Federal agencies complete inventories and site evaluation actions to identify cultural resources that may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (National Register) and then ensure those resources are not inadvertently transferred, sold, demolished, substantially altered, or allowed to deteriorate significantly. Regulations entitled Protection of Historic Properties (36 CFR 800) defines the process for implementing

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    http://wdfw.wa.gov/do/newreal/release.php?id=mar0507a

  • requirements of the NHPA, including consultation with the appropriate State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA) prevents the study agency from disclosing specific site locations. ARPA and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA) define the notification and tribal consultation processes the study agency must implement if human remains of Native American ancestry are inadvertently discovered during the course of an action on Federal land. NAGPRA also encourages agencies to have a discovery plan in place when actions will occur in an area that has the potential for human remains. Finally, NAGPRA defines a process for agencies to determine if recovered human remains are affiliated with federally recognized tribes and a process for disposition of affiliated remains. 3.4.1 Affected Environment The nature of this undertaking is the establishment of a supplemental feed route for the Potholes Reservoir. The three possible routes are located on federal, state, and private property. All of the alternatives, excluding the no action alternative, involve some sort of construction or management activities that may cause ground disturbance and may therefore impact historic resources. The area of potential effect (APE) includes all of the area in and surrounding the feed routes, including the Frenchman Hills Wasteway, Upper Crab Creek, and Pinto Dam. No direct or indirect effects outside of this area can be attributed to this project. Literature Review and Known Historic Resources Surveys and other investigations for historic resources have occurred in the general project area sporadically, beginning in the late 1940s, largely because of the creation of the Columbia Basin Project. The River Basin Survey of the Smithsonian Institute surveyed the land to be inundated by both Banks Lake and Potholes Reservoir, and several sites were investigated (Drucker 1948). Surveys were conducted in the late 1970s by the University of Washington on numerous parcels of the Columbia Basin Project, including lands within the APE. Reclamation has conducted a number of surveys in the CBP, three of which included lands within the APE:

    A Cultural Resources Survey of Potholes Reservoir, Grant County, Washington (Axton, Boreson and Regan 2000). This survey covered nearly 40,000 acres in the Potholes Reservoir area and identified ten sites and 48 isolated finds. The ten sites were all from the historic period and consisted of habitations, temporary habitations associated with sheep raising operations, and refuse dumps. The isolated finds were other historic artifacts, but also included some prehistoric lithic flakes. No significant historic properties were identified during this survey.

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  • An Ethnographic Overview of the Potholes Reservoir Study Area of Central Washington (Ellis and Fagan 2000). This report detailed the ethnographic history of the Potholes area and included information on the traditional and current American Indian use of the area.

    A Cultural Resources Overview of the United States Bureau of Reclamations Scattered

    Tracts/Potholes Study Area, Adams, Franklin, Grant, and Walla Walla Counties, Washington (Gundy 1998). The study area for this report encompassed 313 non-contiguous parcels of land under Reclamation jurisdiction, totaling approximately 90,000 acres. The report identified 514 previously recorded sites within the study area from both the historic and prehistoric periods. These sites included lithic scatters, campsites, habitation, caves or rockshelters, cairns, quarries, burials, petroglyphs or pictographs, fish weirs, and shell deposits.

    Context Aboriginal groups known to have occupied or utilized the project area include a variety of Plateau groups: the San Poil, Nespelem, Middle Columbia Salish, Wanapum, Yakama, Lower Spokan, as well as others who frequented the Columbia and Snake River confluence (Ellis and Fagan 1999:18). However, the Columbia people were indigenous to the area, with settlements on and surrounding Moses Lake. The general area, including Moses Lake, provided excellent resource gathering opportunities including root crops, fish, turtles, and waterfowl, among other natural resources (Axton, Boreson and Regan 2000:1.5). Euro-American exploration prior to1870 included fur traders, road and railroad surveyors, miners, freighters, and stockmen. Early settlers attempted raising livestock including cattle and horses; however, the lack of water and overgrazing caused the industry to decline. Dryland farming proved equally short-lived and unsuccessful (Boreson 1998: 3-4). The Columbia Basin Project, authorized in 1933, was created to irrigate and attract settlement to the semi-arid and sparsely settled land of east-central Washington. The water diverted from the lake formed by Grand Coulee Dam, through Banks Lake, now irrigates more than 650,000 acres. Water first flowed onto project land in 1948 through pumps near Pasco, and in 1952 through the Main Canal. Winchester Wasteway is one of several channels that capture return flows of irrigation water for storage in Potholes Reservoir (Gundy 1998: 77-100). The project area is in a part of the interior Columbia Basin characterized by rolling topography; xeric weather patterns; loamy to deep sandy, windblown soil; and vegetation dominated by bunchgrass and sagebrush. Human impacts to the study area include previously constructed weirs, ditches, dikes, and basins associated with the CBP. Additionally, a number of towns with varying populations are located within and surrounding the APE, including the largest two, Ephrata and Moses Lake. 3.4.2 Traditional Cultural Properties Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) are addressed in the National Register Bulletin Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties (King and Parker 1998). A TCP

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  • is defined as a site eligible for inclusion in the National Register when it is associated with cultural practices or beliefs of a living community that are rooted in the communitys history and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community. Some TCPs co-occur with archaeological sites, while other TCPs may include landscape features or simple locations. Under the Archaeological Resource Protection Act, most TCP locations are considered confidential. TCPs were identified in the above-mentioned reports, and included resource gathering sites, camps and villages, trails, medicinal and spiritual uses, and other traditional activities. However, no specific TCP survey has been conducted for this project.

    3.5 Hydrology This section is taken from a detailed hydrologic analysis of the proposed feed routes prepared by Reclamation. This report is available in Reclamations office in Ephrata, WA. 3.5.1 Surface Water Affected Environment Potholes Reservoir Operation and Existing Feed Route There are three feed routes currently being used to deliver water into Potholes Reservoir. The primary route is through the ELC to Rocky Coulee Wasteway then into Upper Crab Creek, Moses Lake, and finally into Potholes Reservoir. The two secondary routes are through Lind Coulee Wasteway and through Frenchman Hills Wasteway. Water is spilled from the ELC to Lind Coulee Wasteway, which flows directly to Potholes Reservoir. The other secondary route spills water from the West Canal to the Frenchman Hills Wasteway, which also flows directly to Potholes Reservoir. The use of the existing feed routes is limited to spring and fall during the irrigation season when unused canal and wasteway capacity is available because of low irrigation demand. Current canal mean daily flows used to meet irrigation demands by month are shown in table 3-3. The capacities for Main, West, and East Low Canals are 10,000 cfs, 4800 cfs, and 4300 cfs respectively.

    Table 3-3 Columbia Basin Project canal peak daily flows in cfs used to meet irrigation demands for the period of record 1996-2005

    (90th percentile of Daily Mean Discharge in cfs with feed removed) Month Main Canal East Low Canal West Canal March 1300 300 300 April 4300 1500 2600 May 5200 1800 3500 June 7500 2900 4500 July 8600 3700 4700

    August 6800 2800 4300 September 4200 1600 2900

    October 2700 1000 2100

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  • The existing feed routes are further limited by the need to leave space within the wasteways for emergency evacuation. To ensure the highest margin of safety, wasteway capacity is maximized during peak irrigation months by limiting feed operation during June, July, and August. The spring and fall feed capacities for Rocky Coulee, Lind Coulee, and Frenchman Hills wasteways are 2500 cfs, 400 cfs, and 150 cfs respectively. Current canal and wasteway capacity criteria limit the reliable maximum spring feed volume to 260,000 acre-feet. Fall feed is further limited by the need to leave storage space in Potholes Reservoir to limit spill of spring runoff from Upper Crab Creek. Reclamation has rights to pass flood water down Lower Crab Creek to the extent that the flood releases made into Lower Crab Creek do not exceed flows that would have naturally occurred before the CBP facilities were constructed. The additional flow that could be spilled from Potholes Reservoir down Lower Crab Creek within the normal banks has been judged to be 50 to 100 cfs, depending on the time of year and other flows in the channel. The Standing Operating Procedures for Potholes Reservoir state that inflows will not normally be spilled unless water levels exceed the end-of-month rule curve shown in table 3-4. To minimize spill from a 100-year flood event requires an October ending storage elevation of 1027.2 feet.

    Table 3-4 Potholes Reservoir Winter End-of-Month Elevation Guidelines in feet to minimize spill to Lower Crab Creek

    End-of-Month Elevation Guideline, in feet

    Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb

    1033.3 1037.6 1040.6 1043.3 1045.6 *Standing Operating Procedures OSullivan Dam Section 5 Flood Operating Criteria, page 4-5

    Table 3-5 Potholes Reservoir winter natural runoff volume for return periods in acre-feet Volumes computed from Upper Crab Creek and Rocky Ford Creek inflows to Moses Lake

    between December and March

    Runoff Volume acre-feet 100 yr 50 yr 25 yr 10 yr 2 yr

    157,000 127,000 101,000 71,500 30,400 * Volumes based on period-of-record 1949-2005

    By limiting Potholes Reservoir end of October elevation to 1032.0 feet, which provides storage for a 25-year Upper Crab Creek runoff event, the fall feed capacity is limited to approximately 90,000 acre-feet. Combining the maximum spring feed of 260,000 acre-feet with the fall limit of 90,000 acre-feet, the annual reliable feed capacity is 350,000 acre-feet. The current annual feed capacity is equal to the Potholes Reservoir dry-year return and runoff supply shortage estimated at 350,000 acre-feet. Alternatives 2A and 2B - Crab Creek Ephemeral and Perennial Upper Crab Creek is a natural stream that begins east of Davenport with a drainage area of 3,080 square miles above Moses Lake. Upper Crab Creek at the Irby gage flows year-round but only

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  • during times of high water flows into Brook Lake. Upper Crab Creek also flows year-round beginning near Moses Lake because of springs and irrigation return flows. However, between Brook Lake and Gloyd Spring inflow, the stream has intermittent flows. Table 3-6 shows the historic mean daily discharge of Crab Creek at the USGS Irby station (Site 12465000) located approximately 18 miles upstream of Brook Lake.

    Table 3-6 USGS gage station Crab Creek at Irby percentile of daily mean discharge in cfs for the period of record 1943-2005

    Month 99th 98th 95th 90th 50th 10th January 1516 1112 500 239 18 1February 2009 1500 794 509 92 6March 1516 1092 646 388 125 35April 440 338 270 200 78 22May 227 190 114 89 35 13June 374 146 69 50 25 9July 82 64 43 31 17 5August 52 32 28 22 11 3September 40 25 21 16 7 2October 36 30 20 15 6 2November 46 30 22 16 5 2December 212 60 39 26 6 1

    Another gaging station is located on Crab Creek 3.5 miles upstream from Moses Lake (Site12467000). The historic mean daily discharges at this gage are shown in table 3-7. The flows are affected by return flows from irrigated area.

    Table 3-7 USGS gage station Crab Creek near Moses Lake percentile of daily mean discharge in cfs for the period of record 1943-2005

    Month 99th 98th 95th 90th 50th 10th January 808 624 218 36 15 0February 1055 829 517 350 16 0March 1547 1200 651 409 55 6April 562 407 260 190 44 7May 222 186 138 92 33 12June 226 168 88 80 39 14July 119 113 104 90 46 2August 132 128 121 107 53 1September 136 132 127 109 53 1October 117 113 104 92 48 0November 85 79 67 56 29 0December 49 47 41 36 19 0

    Historically, sizable floods occur during the period December through March. Spring runoff from the Upper Crab Creek is highly variable and unpredictable. Upper Crab Creek spring floods range from a 2-year event of 322 cfs to a 100-year event of over 11,000 cfs, as shown in table 3-8.

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  • Table 3-8 Upper Crab Creek weighted estimates of flood discharge for return periods in cfs for period of record 1943-1996

    Station 100 yr 50 yr 25 yr 10 yr 2 yr Crab Creek at

    Irby (12465000) 11,900 9390 7060 4370 810Crab Creek near

    Moses Lake (12467000) 11,800 7480 4570 2160 322

    * Sumiokia, S.S. and Kresch, D.L., and Kasnick, K.D., Magnitude and Frequency of Floods in Washington, Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4277, USGS

    A number of small lakes exist between Brook Lake and Moses Lake. Table 3-9 presents the approximate active volumes of these lakes. Volumes were estimated from the amount of water used to fill these lakes from controlled releases from Billy Clapp Reservoir. These lakes fill from flood runoff and then recede between flood events. These lakes dampen flood events from the watershed above Brook Lake before they enter Moses Lake.

    Table 3-9 Upper Crab Creek lakes between Brook Lake and Moses Lake and their approximate active volumes in acre-feet

    Lake Active Volume (acre-feet) Brook Lake 3200 Round Lake 2000 Willow Lake 700 Bar 40 Lake 0 Farm Unit Lake 400

    Upper Crab Creek is a losing reach from Brook Lake to Moses Lake in those areas where it flows on top of glacial flood gravel deposits. Historic flow records for Crab Creek at Irby and near Moses Lake indicate the amount of water loss between Brook Lake and Moses Lake would be as shown in table 3-10. Seepage investigation confirmed the losses between Brook Lake and Moses Lake are about 60 percent for inflows to Brook Lake of 150 cfs.

    Table 3-10 Estimated Upper Crab Creek losses between Brook Lake and Moses Lake from USGS gage records

    Crab Creek Inflows to Brook Lake

    Crab Creek Inflows to Moses Lake Crab Creek Loss Percent Loss

    100 30 70 70%200 100 100 50%300 200 100 33%400 290 110 28%500 380 120 24%

    1000 850 150 15%2000 1780 220 11%

    * Seepage investigation confirmed the losses between Brook Lake and Moses Lake are about 60% for inflows to Brook Lake of 150 cfs

    Of the Crab Creek losses, about 90 percent occurs in the Adrian Reach between Brook Lake and Willow Lake. About 80 percent of the water lost to the Adrian Reach emerges at Rocky Ford

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  • Spring within six to eight months and flows into Moses Lake. The remaining losses most likely emerge in other springs along Rocky Ford Creek and the Rocky Ford Arm of Moses Lake. Table 3-11 shows the historic mean daily discharge of Rocky Ford Creek stations (Site 12470500 and 12470600) located approximately 5 miles upstream of Moses Lake.

    Table 3-11 USGS gage stations Rocky Ford Creek (12470500 or 12470600) percentile of daily mean discharge in cfs for the period of record 1943-2005

    Month 99th 98th 95th 90th 50th 10th January 102 87 82 77 58 40February 104 97 87 74 54 37March 161 126 102 85 51 34April 206 146 126 102 54 33May 197 142 131 106 61 35June 176 129 123 106 69 37July 163 121 117 110 78 41August 154 120 111 106 83 45September 142 117 106 104 85 48October 137 113 105 99 80 50November 127 106 98 92 75 48December 114 97 89 84 66 45

    * Rocky Ford Creek gage #12470500 was operated as a daily record site prior to 1991. After 1991, this gage site #12470500 and/or site #12470600 were reported as miscellaneous measurements, measured approximately every two months. Daily flows were estimated between miscellaneous measurements using linear interpolation.

    About 10 percent of the Crab Creek losses occur in the Gloyd Reach between Willow Lake and Moses Lake. These losses most likely emerge in springs along the Rocky Ford Arm and Parker Horn Arm of Moses Lake. The loss percentages and return flows to Rocky Ford Spring were confirmed during a test flow of approximately 145 cfs that took place during the fall of 2006. Alternative 3 Frenchman Hills Wasteway Water would be conveyed from Billy Clapp Reservoir via the Main Canal and West Canal to the Frenchman Hills Wasteway. The water would then be discharged through the Frenchman Hills Wasteway into Potholes Reservoir. Discharges are collected by Reclamation within the Frenchman Hills Wasteway at Road C SE. The mean daily discharges are listed in table 3-12. Frenchman Hills Wasteway crosses under two county roads, Dodson and Road C SE. The existing Dodson Road crossing has a capacity of 1600 cfs and the Road C SE has a capacity of 500 cfs.

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  • Table 3-12 Reclamation gage station on Frenchman Hills Wasteway at Road C SE percentile of daily mean discharge in cfs for the period of record 1996-2005

    Month 90th 50th 10th January 290 190 150 February 350 180 150 March 390 190 140 April 470 350 280 May 500 390 300 June 490 380 310 July 490 410 340

    August 550 460 380 September 530 460 400

    October 510 450 380 November 350 280 230 December 240 210 190

    3.5.2 Ground Water Affected Environment Groundwater is underground water found in pore spaces between grains of soil or rock or within fractured rock formations. Groundwater typically originates as precipitation that infiltrates through soil and underlying unsaturated geologic materials until reaching the water table. In the case of the CBP, water originates as irrigation. This saturated zone is referred to as an aquifer, when it is capable of yielding sufficient water to a supply well. Saturated zones composed of coarse sands and gravels or those occupying large fractures in bedrock are generally the most productive aquifers. An aquifer is recharged by the process of infiltration and percolation of water to the zone of saturation. Surface water bodies and aquifers, particularly shallow aquifers, are often interconnected. Stream flow derived from groundwater discharge during low-flow periods is referred to as baseflow. Baseflow is important in maintaining year-round flow in streams fed by rain and snowmelt runoff. Groundwater in the CBP is predominantly associated with the flood basalts of the Columbia River Basalt Group, but also with sediments that overlie or are interbedded with the basalts. The entire aquifer system underlies approximately 50,600 square miles of the Columbia Plateau in Washington, Oregon, and parts of northwest Idaho (Bauer 2000).

    3.6 Vegetation 3.6.1 Affected Environment Much of the project area has been modified by agricultural activities. Areas that have not been converted to agricultural land are typically classified as shrub-steppe. Shrub-steppe vegetative communities consist of one or more layers of perennial grass with a conspicuous but discontinuous overstory layer of shrubs. In the Crab Creek Subbasin, shrub-steppe also includes meadowsteppe and steppe habitats that may have a relatively low frequency of shrubs. The dominant shrubs include:

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  • Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.) Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentate) Grease wood (Sarcobatus spp.) Spiny hopsage (Grayia spinosa)

    The dominant grasses include native bunchgrasses (Poa, Stipa, and Agropyron spp.) and non-native downy brome (Bromus tectorum). Riparian vegetation consists of:

    Willows (Salix spp.) Rose (Rosa spp.) Water birch (Betula occidentalis) Black cottonwood (Populus angustifolia) Aspen (P. termuloides) Hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) Serviceberry (Amelanchier anifolia)

    Vegetation conditions vary at each of the alternative locations, and range from relatively undisturbed shrub-steppe to fully developed agricultural land. Along Crab Creek, there are sections of riparian vegetation that should be increased by increases in the frequency of water being available. Most of the Frenchman Hills Wasteway is bordered by riparian vegetation even though much of the vegetation is invasive species.

    3.7 Geology/Soils (Erosion) 3.7.1 Affected Environment During the Pleistocene Epoch, a huge ice sheet formed and moved southward from Canada into major south-trending valleys leading into what is now Washington, Idaho and Montana. The ice sheet blocked the Columbia River downstream of where Grand Coulee Dam is now located, and forced the water southward into the Columbia Basin. It also blocked water from the Montana area and formed a huge lake known as Glacial Lake Missoula. When the glacial lake in Montana filled and overtopped the ice sheet, the floodwater broke through the ice dams and vast quantities of water flowed violently across northeastern Washington and into the Columbia Basin area. As these floodwaters emptied into the Columbia Basin the landscape was scoured out, and the previous surface deposits were reworked and re-deposited. This landscape in the Columbia Basin area is known as the Channeled Scablands. Crab Creek, in about the first 5 miles below Pinto Dam, follows a coulee eroded into basalt bedrock by glacial meltwater. The coulee bottom was subsequently filled with over 100 feet of unconsolidated sand, gravel, cobbles, and boulders. Where Crab Creek enters the Quincy Basin near Adrian, Washington, it then trends southeasterly toward Moses Lake, Washington. The

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  • glaciofluvial deposits thin toward the Willow Lake area about 3 miles away. At this location, there are numerous lakes over the shallow bedrock and the basalt outcrops along Crab Creek. The Rocky Ford arm of Moses Lake was formed by floodwaters as they exited the lower end of the Grand Coulee. The Frenchman Hills Wasteway is relatively flat and is characterized by a meandering streambed within a wide marshy wetland. This area is covered by windblown sand up to about 100 feet thick. Beneath the sand and above the basalt bedrock is a mixture of lakebed sediment and glaciofluvial deposits.

    3.8 Water Quality Water Quality is defined by its capability to support beneficial water uses. These uses include domestic water supply, livestock watering, irrigation, aquatic life, recreation, navigation, aesthetics, etc. A water quality problem occurs when the beneficial or intended use of the waterbody is impaired. Chemical, physical, and biological parameters are usually used to measure water quality. Common parameters include bacteria, dissolved oxygen (DO), nutrients, pH, sedimentation, turbidity, temperature, electrical conductivity, and toxics (NRCS 2002). The source water for the CBP is pumped from Lake Roosevelt behind Grand Coulee Dam into Banks Lake. The water is then delivered throughout the CBP by means of canals and laterals. A system of drains and wasteways return water to lakes and reservoirs in the upper portion of the project area where it is directed south into the southern portion of the project. 3.8.1 Affected Environment Water quality has been monitored since the 1950s by Reclamation. The parameters of primary interest for this project include temperature, DO, pH, phosphates, nitrogen affiliates, and total dissolved solids (TDS). This section will discuss the baseline conditions for these parameters in the project area. Temperature Many of the canals and laterals used to deliver water for crop irrigation are listed on the 303(d) list for temperature. The 303(d) list is a list of impaired water bodies in the State of Washington classified by the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology). Impaired, meaning diminished quality, being a waterbody that cannot meet State standard criteria for an array of parameters is considered impaired. The climate in the region mimics that of a desert, or semi-arid, being very hot and dry. Temperatures on the average range from 51F to 83F in the summer and 21F to 36F in the winter (Kurz 2006). The high and low temperatures of the water affect the temperature of the soil, which in turn affects seedling emergence, growth rate, time of maturity, and yields of various crops. Excessively high or low temperatures in irrigation water deter plant growth. It is not the temperature of the water per se that affects the plant growth, but the resultant temperature of soil to which it is applied.

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  • Over the years, the water from Lake Roosevelt, Banks Lake, Billy Clapp Lake, and the Main Canal have exceeded the State standard for a number of reasons. Presently, the temperature standard ranges from 9.0 to 20.0C depending on the designated uses and criteria for fresh water aquatic life. An explanation of the designated criteria and uses can be found in WAC 173-201A-200 section 210 (Ecology 2006). There is no water quality data for upper Crab Creek, with the exception of Irby. Temperature issues occur during the summer and winter at Irby; they range between 19.9C and 22.3C for the summer and 0.7C and 2.7C for the winter. Water quality at Irby indicates temperatures exceed the State standards between 90 and a 100 percent of the time. The historical data collected by Reclamation indicates the water quality at Road 7, which leads directly to the Parker Horn reach of Moses Lake, has issues with summer and winter temperatures. The range of summer temperatures are in the low 20sC, and the winter temperatures are between 1C and 3C. In addition, samples taken from the outlet of Moses Lake indicate that summer and winter temperatures are the only problem at this location. The summer temperatures range between 20.8C and 24.6C, and winter temperatures range between 3.2C and 4.4C. The temperature for Rocky Ford Creek is also a problem during summer and fall. Temperatures range in the upper teens during the summer and between 5C and 6C in the winter. Dissolved Oxygen The DO parameter relates to the health of a water system and the aquatic organisms living within it. The production of a waterbody will aide in determining the optimal level of DO. If there is a significant amount of growth in a water system, the DO will be lower than if there is only a small amount of production. The oxygen supply in the water for the study area is dependent upon the temperature of the water. When the water temperature increases the oxygen concentration decreases, and when the water temperature decreases the oxygen concentration increases. Due to the range of temperatures in this region, maintaining the State standard for DO is difficult. The State standard for DO has an optimal range of 6.5 mg/L to 9.5 mg/L depending upon the designated criteria and uses of the waterbody. In some cases relating to salmonids and their life stages, the range of the DO is wider. However, when the DO falls below 3mg/L an acute lethal limit for salmonids has been breached (Adams 1992; Ayers 1985; Canessa 1994; Hicks 2002; NAS 1972; NTAC 1968; NRCS 1997; EPA 1986; Ecology 1990; Ecology 2006; Welch 1992). pH The pH parameter, which is the potential of hydrogen, relates to the acid-base equilibrium in natural waters brought about by various dissolved compounds, salts, and gases. pH measures the

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  • concentration of hydrogen ions in a substance on a scale of 0 to 14. The scale range has the neutral point set in the center at 7.0; the values below 7.0 are acidic, and the values above 7.0 are alkaline. Major components that influence the pH of a natural waterbody stem from the carbonate system. These components are carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, bicarbonate, and carbonate. Another influence on pH is how acids and bases break down or disassociate and shift the equilibrium of the water either towards the acid or base range. Healthy waters range near 7.0 neutral, domestic waters range between 5.0-9.0, freshwater aquatic life ranges between 6.5-9.0, and marine aquatic life ranges between 6.5-8.5, with a 0.2 fluctuation outside of the normal range (Adams 1992; Ayers 1985; Canessa 1994; Hicks 2002; NAS 1972; NTAC 1968; NRCS 1997; EPA 1986; Ecology 1990; Ecology 2006). Phosphorus

    Eutrophication g/L Levels necessary to prevent eutrophication: >100 in rivers >50 at stream/river mouth >25 in lakes, reservoirs, standing water >100 indirect discharge waterways

    Phosphorus is an essential element for all living organisms, and is considered the most controllable. It is necessary for plant growth, and can become a nuisance if the total concentration of phosphorus is too high. Increased phosphorus levels will cause eutrophication of a water system especially those with little or no turn over. Eutrophication is what occurs when a lake has a high surface-to-volume-ratio and an abundance of nutrients producing heavy growth of aquatic plants and other vegetation. These lakes contain highly organic sediments, and may have seasonal or continuous low DO concentrations in deeper waters (NAS 1972). Eutrophication relates to the health of waterbodies. If the water is rich in nutrients that support a dense growth of algae and other organisms, the DO levels in the water are reduced due to the decay of plant life. This will subsequently kill other living organisms. To prevent eutrophication, total phosphates as phosphorus (P) should not exceed 100 g/L in any river system, or 50 g/L in any stream at the point where it enters any lake, reservoir, or other standing waterbody, or 25 g/L within the lake, reservoir, or other standing waterbody. Another method to control the inflow of nutrients, particularly phosphates, is to assign an annual loading concentration to the receiving water. This is done by taking a particular water volume where the mean depth of the receiving water is in meters and is divided by the hydraulic detention time in years. Phosphorus loading takes into account all forms of phosphate and phosphorus and gives an estimated total concentration of how much phosphate/phosphorus is in the receiving water (Adams 1992; Ayers 1985; Canessa 1994; Hicks 2002; NAS 1972; NTAC 1968; NRCS 1997; EPA 1986; Ecology 1990; Ecology 2006; Welch 1992).

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  • There is no water quality data for upper Crab Creek, with the exception of Irby. Water quality at Irby indicates phosphorus exceeds the State standards between 90 and a 100 percent of the time. At this time, there